NLPC Urges DOL Check Up of Big Labor’s “Arthur Andersen”

When the Thomas Havey firm brags about the $42 billion in union funds it audits as its”Labor..specialty,” the Fed. Govt. needs to see if that includes the same cover-up of embezzlement revealed in the case of the Intl. Assn. of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental & Reinforcing Iron Workers (IAIW).  That’s the message in a petition that NLPC filed with the US Dept. of Labor June 24.

NLPC filed the petition after Havey partner Alfred S. Garappolo admitted in federal court that he concealed from DOL investigators IAIW officials’ demands that Havey falsify reports of disbursements to its officers on the IAIW’s annual financial report (LM-2) filed with DOL.

On June 4, Garappolo pled guilty to two felony counts.  First, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 3, he confessed to helping Kerry J. Tresselt, a bookkeeper and daughter of ex-vice-president Raymond J. Robertson, to hide her embezzlement from the union training fund. And in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001, Garappolo admitted to concealing from DOL agents statements made at a Sept. 1992 meeting by IAIW’s ex-general counsel Victor Van Bourg to IAIW’s ex-president and current president emeritus Jacob “Jake” West. Allegedly, Van Bourg told West that the Havey firm should be replaced if Havey accountants did not assist the underreporting and misidentification of the union’s disbursements for its officers on the union’s LM-2.  After the meeting, according to Garappolo’s plea, Havey accountants did just that, to the benefit of IAIW bosses Jake West, LeRoy Worley, and James Cole.

On its web site, the Havey firm claims to serve “more international and local labor organization clients than any other CPA firm in the country…bar none.”  Havey officials even claim: “Should your Union’s LM-2 be selected for examination [by DOL], our…Professionals are available to represent your Organization with the objective of making the process as painless as possible.”  In the light of Garapppolo’s confession, NLPC Chairman Kenneth Boehm wrote to the DOL’s Office of Labor-Mgmt. Standards (OLMS), “[t]here is now a reasonable suspicion that what happened in this case may also have taken place within other labor union organizations employing the Havey firm.”  Therefore, Boehm concludes,  OLMS should begin auditing all intl. unions using Havey, then move to audit any regional, state or local union clients.

In addition to the letter requesting an audit of Havey’s union clients, Boehm sent a second letter to the DOL’s Pension & Welfare Benefits Admin., requesting audits of employee benefit funds audited by Havey.  The complete text of both letters may be read on NLPC’s web site at  [DOL 6/3/02]